As I get older I’ve become more interested in the power of the herbs and nature’s own and how their affect our health. During the same period I’ve become less inclined to believe in “conventional” medicine – which is interesting as both my wife and my father-in-law work for the NHS and my father used to. This belief in nature’s remedies is incredibly consistent with the dialogue regarding the possible health benefits of the cocoa bean. But can a bar of chocolate really affect one’s mood? Will this “Aphrodisia” bar really make me, well, more “up for it”?
But what is in this chocolate bar that Vanessa Barg, the owner of Gnosis Chocolate, believes will have that will increase my ardour? Looking at the ingredients offers all the information one would want to answer this question. There’s figs which the ancient Greeks associated with love and fertility; there’s “Horny Goat Weed” which doesn’t take too much explaining but apparently a Chinese goat herder saw more “activity” in his goats when they ate this herb; Maca is called the “Peruvian Ginseng”; Damiana is said to help with erectile dysfunction – the less said about that the better; Shilajit which is supposed to be a stimulant; Dong Quai is an ancient remedy for female related problems and Fo Ti which is supposed to have similar affects as Damiana. Of course I don’t have medical evidence to prove those claims, but I’m more than open to the idea that they do.
I reviewed some of Vanessa’s chocolate last year and thought it was pretty good. But what about this one? The packaging is just as understated and made with recycled materials and is jam-packed with useful and interesting information – mostly related to the company’s Social Responsibility Policy but also the ingredients and what one would hope to feel after easting some.
The bar inside is small but packed full with ingredients. It doesn’t look like raw chocolate as it has a wonderful shine. It does, however, sound like raw chocolate as there’s no crisp snap. But if you’re buying raw chocolate then that’s probably not something you’ll be looking for. But this brings me to an interesting debate – can any chocolate be considered as raw apart from the cacao bean itself seeing as the temperature the beans get up to whilst fermenting can be up to 48°c (about 120°F) and then there’s the tempering process too? But that’s a side show to the reason to buying this chocolate and that’s because you’re believe in holistic medicine and you have ailments or conditions you’d like help with or preventing.
Obviously I can’t report on any additional desire for some “loving” I can describe the sensory characteristics of the bar which does come across as having a fairly acidic aroma. It has chewy texture like all of the raw chocolate I’ve tried and this is further compounded by the figs. There’s also some crunch which makes it very unusual. It’s actually has a popping candy-like feel after the chocolate has been consumed.
In terms of flavour I found it very interesting. The tip of my tongue does sense some sort of peppery sense but the figs do, just, dominate proceedings. But I do, quite strangely, love it.